If you’ve ever walked into someone’s home and felt that a room was either crowded or perhaps a tad too sparse, you’ve experienced poorly chosen furniture for a room. It’s surprisingly difficult to choose the right scale of furniture to any given room, considering you typically are standing in a showroom somewhere and can only picture how the piece will fit into a living room, bedroom, or other room of the house. To help the next time you go furniture shopping, we’ve pulled together a few ideas on how to choose the correct size furniture for any room.
Consider the function of each room first
This might seem like a silly suggestion, but it really isn’t! Some people eat in front of the TV, use part of their master bedroom for an office, or workout in front of the TV in the family room. Think about how you use each room to know how much room you’ll really need so you’re not dragging furniture around the next time you want to do yoga in the family room or dig into a pizza in the living room.
Find the focal point for each room
Most rooms have a focal point, whether that’s the bed in the master bedroom, or the TV in the family room. With focal points, the furniture positioning tends to work around it, so if, for example, you have stunning views of the Superstition Mountains from your living room and want guests to really take note of it, think about how you’ll be facing and positioning your furniture to take advantage the point of focus.
Think about the overall style of your rooms
Nowadays, people are leaning towards a more eclectic feel to their home, shabby chic or farmhouse formal… they don’t want to be locked into any one style like modern, Mediterranean, or whatever. However, you’ve likely leaned towards a certain style for past pieces. That may be streamlined, minimalist, oversized, or whatever. Keep that in mind, when you buy new pieces. If most of your existing furniture tends to be sleek and streamlined, bringing in a new, big, overstuffed couch might be overwhelming, even if it physically fits into the space. It’ll look like a monster compared to your other pieces. The same goes for the opposite: if you have substantial furniture pieces and bring in a sleek, modern piece, it might look measly in comparison. Choosing the correct size furniture makes a difference!
Consider basic room spacing rules
Though not written in stone, you want to keep some basic room spacing rules in mind. For example, the sofa should be placed about seven feet from the television. The coffee table should be positioned about a foot and a half away from the sofa, and other pieces of furniture should be placed no more than ten feet from the sofa—that way the conversation can flow freely between those on different pieces of furniture, all the while keeping the space cohesive. Side tables should be approximately the same height as the nearby chair arms (if that’s not possible, lower is better). For coffee tables, the height should be the same height as chair/sofa seats or lower.
Don’t push furniture against the walls
The size of the room will dictate how far you can pull your furniture away from the walls, but even in a small space, you’ll want to give furniture pieces room by allowing a few inches between the backs of furniture pieces and the walls. Believe it or not, this little bit of space can actually make rooms feel bigger. If you have a larger space, you can arrange furniture in such a way that conversation areas are created in the middle of the room, leaving several feet between the walls and the furniture.
Take some basic measurements of the room and measure your furniture
With the above tips in mind, the best way to plan is measure, measure, measure! Take basic measurements of the room, make a drawing, use an online planner, or get an interior design professional to help. When you go furniture shopping, you know what kind of size you need and how it’ll fit in the room to create the ideal space you want. Understanding how to choose the correct size furniture for any room will help you get the look you need to make any room in your house fashionable and functional!